You've probably seen these European-looking mustards on store shelves, just beckoning to be dipped in by a giant soft pretzel or wurst. The packaging screams Oktoberfest to our American eyes, don't you think? Yet Inglehoffer Mustard isn’t, just so you know, German or Austrian. It’s just one brand in a family of condiments called Beaverton Foods in Oregon. They are not involved with anything related to the humane or inhumane treatment of beavers. They just make mustard ‘n’ stuff, all right?
Started in 1929 by Rose Biggi, Beaverton Foods is run today by her son Gene. They’re known as the largest producer of non-refrigerated horseradish and specialty mustards in the United States—a claim I did not know existed until I went to their own homepage. But enough about claims. Let’s talk about the taste of their spreadable yellow goo. And that, perhaps, is where they’re different.
These mustards aren’t that artificial yellow stuff that French’s makes. They’re eggsell-colored, honey brown, pale yellow—even red, in the case of their new Sriracha mustard. There are so many interesting flavors that you won’t want to buy “normal” mustard again. Oddly enough, several of their brands make mustard, so I tried out the Inglehoffer and Beaver brands: A Russian, a honey from their organic line, a sweet hot, and a creamy dill. Our favorite was the unique creamy dill—a blend of mustard, capers, lemon juice, and dill. The honey mustard was sweeter but not overpowering, and still with many aromatic spices. It also had a very pronounceable ingredients list. The sweet hot had lovely spicy-hot, sweet, and even sour notes. But the one with the most pronounced vinegar and heat was the Beaver brand Russian with paprika, ginger, and more. This is FLAVOR!
We enjoyed using these mustards to spruce up drab pasta salads, to create interesting grilled cheese sandwiches (try the creamy dill with American—so simple, and so good), or to make any dish more gourmet, from hot dogs to deviled eggs. Another bonus? There’s none of that brownish liquid that needs to be shaken when you haven’t used the product in a month. Why use the same boring stuff when you can try out mustard flavors such as wasabi horseradish, honey maple, or hickory bacon? You can’t think of a reason, can you.
At under $4 a bottle (some 4-oz. bottles cost as little as $1.25!), you’ll feel good purchasing something better for you, something supporting a family company, and something that looks a lot cooler than those ol’ yellow bottles. Oh yeah, and it tastes better, too.
Beaverton Foods sells mustards, horseradish sauces, mayos, ketchups, salsas, and other condiments in stores across the USA. If you can’t find a retailer locally, you can purchase online at beavertonfoods.com. They can also be reached at 800.223.8076.
Many of the condiments are gluten-free, organic, or kosher. All are sorted and searchable on their site.
Items are available in 4 oz., 8 oz., and 12 oz. plastic or glass bottles, depending on flavor.
Prices range from $1.25-$3.75.
Photography by Victor Leung